The combination of walnuts, pistachios and dates creates a moist fruity filling with a satiating crunch. It's warm, homely, and very addictive!






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Baklawa is a dessert I grew up eating in Saudi Arabia, in many varieties of shapes and fillings. This recipe is exceptionally close to my heart, because dates are an integral part of my Middle Eastern heritage. I still remember my grandfather and dad always snacking on dates.

This baklawa is sweet and delicious just like a traditional baklawa, but contains more fibre from the dates and nuts, and is made with heart-healthy olive oil.



  • ⅓ cup water
  • ½ cup date syrup
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ½ tsp vanilla paste

To serve

  • 2 tbsp shelled pistachios, very finely chopped


  • 175 g pitted dates
  • 95 g pistachio
  • 75 g walnuts
  • zest of ½ small orange
  • ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp fine sea salt
  • 10 sheets filo pastry sheets, thawed
  • ¼ cup mild tasting olive oil

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Soaking time: 30 minutes

1. To make the syrup, put date syrup, water, vanilla paste and orange juice into a small pot and gently bring to the boil. Simmer on a very low heat for 10 minutes then set aside to cool down completely.

2. To make the baklawa. Place the dates, nuts, orange zest, cinnamon and salt in a food processor and pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped. Prepare a baking tray by brushing it with a very small amount of olive oil.

3. Pre-heat the oven to 150ºC.

4. Lay one sheet of filo with the longer side facing you; keeping the rest of the sheets covered with a damp kitchen towel to prevent from drying out.

5. Brush filo with a light coating of olive oil, then top with a second sheet, brush with olive oil as well.

6. Sprinkle the filling over the entire surface. About 70 grams of filling for each roll. Place two wooden sticks at the edge nearest to you. Loosely roll the sheet of filo around the sticks. Do not roll too tight and as you gently place each hand on both ends of the rolled filo, press the ends together towards the centre, creating folds in the filo and remove the sticks.

7. Transfer to the greased baking tray.

8. Brush with olive oil immediately and repeat with remaining filo sheets, arranging the rolls so they're touching side by side.

9. Using a sharp knife, cut the rows of rolls vertically, so that each roll is now cut into 5 pieces. If desired, straighten out the shaggy ends of the rolls by cutting through the very ends. Do not remove them and keep them intact. Brush the remaining olive oil all over the rolls.

10. Bake in a pre-heated oven for about 35-40 minutes, until the top is lightly golden.

11. As soon as the baklawa is ready and still piping hot from the oven, immediately pour the cold syrup. Avoid pouring hot syrup otherwise it will go soggy. Allow them to soak up the syrup for 30 minutes.

12. To serve, sprinkle with finely chopped pistachios.